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Jeff wrote:

Hi, guys —

I am new to things that are Catholic and am starting to learn a lot. Nevertheless, I can't find an answer to this question.

  • Why are bells rung at certain times during the preparation of the Eucharist?
  • What is this?



  { Why do bells ring at certain times during the preparation of the Eucharist at Mass? }

Eric replied:

Hi, Jeff —

The bells are rung when the Words of Institution are said — these are the words that Jesus said to consecrate the first Eucharist. We believe, then, that when the priest says:

This is My Body and This is the [Cup|Chalice] of My Blood,

the bread is transformed into the Body of Christ, and the blood is transformed into the Blood of Christ. (To be technical, the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ are contained in each form: the Consecrated Bread and Consecrated Wine.) Therefore it is a pious custom to ring the bells at those times.

I believe the bells are also rung at the calling down of the Holy Spirit, or Epiclesis.

In the older liturgy, these prayers were done silently, so the bells told the faithful when the transformation had taken place; now they merely accentuate it.


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